Monday, January 19, 2015

American Sniper: Nation’s Pride – Slaying Savages and the Importance of Education

Kyle, and, for that matter, Bush Jr. and many of his adherents/apologists, are examples of the dire need for education (yes, Bush went to an ivy league school – look where that led).  These people, largely because of communications they thought they had with a glowing man hovering above planet Earth and his deceased son, carried out or participated in the killing and ravaging of millions of people – the worst crime of the 21st century, from which many other evils continue to flow, which is one of the main, specific reasons why war of aggression was outlawed in the Nuremberg proceedings.

Evil flourished and found expression in Kyle and Bush Jr., but are people inherently evil?  Hitler, had he been raised by wolves, would have turned out at least somewhat different, wouldn’t he?  (Or would he be out in the woods exterminating squirrels, or something?)  Is there some universe in which, due to different circumstances, Hitler turned out to be an ice cream man?  Abe Lincoln thought so, arguing that slave owners were simply abolitionists born into different circumstances.  If there is some chance that education – altering our circumstances – can prevent evil from taking hold, shouldn’t it be pursued and encouraged by everyone?

Had people like Kyle, Bush Jr., and their contemporaries/predecessors been effectively reached, early and often, by information and logic, millions of people might still be alive and safe – that is, safer.  There is no such thing as total safety, but once the US invaded Iraq again in 2003, it dragged Iraq further and further down, further and further into chaos, until finally it was reduced to its current status as home of the “world’s worst city”, as a UK research company put it.

Education could, potentially, have led Kyle and Bush Jr. away from the trappings of illogic and evil supremacist ideology that, as Wiesel and Stannard note, have for thousands of years been enmeshed in their religion and culture, taking on religious but also secular-religious/faith-based forms, as exhibited by people like Sam Harris and his cadre, who purport to reject religion but are religious fanatics, devout followers of the religions of nationalism and supremacy.  These fundamentalists call perhaps even more often and with deadlier results for the implementation of the murder of lesser peoples that their supreme, elevated position, like that of their openly religious counterparts, mandates.

Perhaps Kyle and Bush Jr. could have read, in addition to what we all read and are exposed to growing up and in daily life, the works of historians and philosophers cited above, and others such as Johnson, Parenti, Chomsky, and learned that the USA, starting in the late 1950s, not only helped install Saddam Hussein into power in Iraq through a mass murder campaign, but teamed up with him, openly, from 1982 into 1990, calling him a “moderate” (sound familiar?), giving him diplomatic, political, material, and intelligence support to help him torture and kill millions of Iraqis, Iranians, and Kurds, many with gas and other illegal weapons provided by US and European governments and companies, then coordinated with Hussein again in the mid-90s, killing hundreds of thousands of children, to crush an uprising that may well have overthrown him.

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